Group 8 Interested in Casting Joo Won and IU as the Leads of the K-version of Nodame Cantabile

The first casting stirrings are emerging in the K-drama adaptation of the Japanese manga Nodame Cantabile. Fans of the almost perfect Japanese version dorama starring Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri might still be cringing in fear of the eccentric story getting massaged into some sort of K-drama love triangle hero-in-training arc, but the production company Group 8 that owns the adaptation rights is pretty good with keeping with quirky intact. This manga isn’t one of those widely read classics or uber popular mania hits, more people have encountered this music academy story through the J-dorama than its source material. That means Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri are by and large the image everyone has of the two leads Chiaki and Nodame. Group 8 is currently working on the script but have extended a casting call to two leads that might actually be a good fit. Joo Won has been offered the role of the music prodigy male lead while singer-actress IU is favored to play the offbeat female lead.

Neither are confirmed and frankly too early for that since both sides reportedly haven’t even seen a script yet. IU is no stranger to manga roles since her last drama Pretty Boy (Bel Ami) was adapted from a Korean manhwa and also produced by Group 8. In fact, her character Kim Botong in PB was so 4D and beyond kooky she actually reminds me of Nodame in how far out her thought processes and actions can seem to the normal human being. Joo Won is a hit magnet when he does KBS dramas such as Baker King, Kim Tak Goo, Ojakkyo Brothers, Gaksital, and Good Doctor, and his one blip of a drama was the blah 7th Grade Civil Servant on MBC. IU is also a KBS regular as PB aired on the network as well as her The Best Lee Soon Shin and Dream High. I can see KBS picking up airing rights for the K-version of Nodame Cantabile if Joo Won and IU accepts the role, and my snap opinion is that the casting seems solid even if I’m personally not a Joo Won fan. For some reason I can see him as Chiaki, and IU’s acting has improved leaps and bounds with two back-to-back dramas last year and she’s got the music background and natural charm to pull off a character like Nodame. I’ll keep an eye on this as the casting shakes out.

I think Joo Won and IU would look really cute together, and their acting styles gives off the impression it’ll mesh quite well. What do you guys think?


Group 8 Interested in Casting Joo Won and IU as the Leads of the K-version of Nodame Cantabile — 47 Comments

  1. For some reason iu doesnt fit for me. I loved her in dream high and she was good (although I hated her character) in best lee but in pretty boy I just didnt buy her acting for some reason. maybe its because nodame is so over the top I think they have to hire an actress that has amazing skills otherwise it won’t work and it will just come off cheesy

  2. I also think Joo Won and IU are suitable casting. Joon Won is a good actor but I haven’t really warmed up to him, I liked IU in YTBLSS and it seems she was endearing in PB.

    I’m kinda torn about this Korean remake… I’m a huge fan of Nodame Cantabile drama and manga. Got hooked by the drama and movies irst and then I read the entire manga. Being piano trained, I could connect with it and it reignited my love in classical music, having somewhat classical music somewhow. NC has a special place in my heart and I don’t want a remake to “sully” it!

  3. Skipping this one, some dramas are just never meant to be remade, nodame is definitely one of them. Its not another hana yori dango or it started w a kiss, its nodame, a very very weird japanese heroine lol. When I think of korea remaking it, I can already imagine the girl making cute faces that aren’t very cute but rather annoying. Nodame is cheesy but its genuinely japanese cheesy I cant see koreans portray.

  4. Well, I do not watch Kdrama remakes of Jdramas because the originals are too awesome and out there imo. Also, I have not seen anything either has been in due to interest…..Happy viewing.

  5. I think she is too cute, meaning, I think some of it is because of effort on her part. Some of that is her squeeky public image that idols have to maintain, I guess.

    JW is good for this. His musical background makes him a good candidate.

    • God forbid they cast an idol as the smelly-hoarding-disorganized-clumsy Nodame. I think I would much rather prefer a more experienced actress in that sense, but I’m willing to be proven wrong.

      The biggest problem though is translating Nodame Cantabile’s quirkiness and eccentricities unto a Korean audience who loves cliches, love triangles!, and drama. This is one quirky little beast that will be incredibly difficult to translate

  6. I’m fine with Joo Won, as most people seem to be.
    IU isn’t exactly top actress material but she pulled off the character Bo-Tong and i see some parallels between her and nodame. Plus i find IU very endearing and i think her vibe suits nodame.
    Mostly the hardcore nodame cantabile are worried Korea will mess up this remake. Personally I am not a diehard manhwa fan so when those things get adapted into live-action either from korea, taiwan, japan, or whatever, i’m not keen on becoming a comparison freak. Each one is so vastly different in vibe, tone, and just overall execution with pros and cons to each that I sit back and enjoy each version for the same reasons i enjoy korean/taiwanese/japanese dramas for their own distinctiveness.
    TBH, i was thoroughly entertained by all BOF, Meteor Garden, Hani Yori Dango even if you were to tell me to rank them on quality.
    Either way my interest is piqued because i quite enjoyed the anime. I’m about to start watching the live-action since everyone is raving about it.

  7. I do rather sceptical about this remake. So, I hope Joo Won can make me love this remake if he decides to sign on, just because I always believe on JW’s acting skill.

  8. If this is really going to happen, then I think Joo Won can sell it. I’m not too sure about IU. Actually, I would be happy if they cast a very talented actress for once, even if she doesn’t have a large fanbase. Otherwise, this drama will find it hard to match its predecessor.

  9. I just don’t see Joo Won and IU together and any other version for that matter. I love Nodame Cantabile so much and no one can top the original cast Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi.
    I’ll skip it no matter who is cast.

    • I’m not sure if I’ll skip it once it airs, but you’re absolutely right about no one being able to top Tamaki Hiroshi and ESPECIALLY Ueno Juri for top billing. Seriously, the whole freaking cast was a great mix of quirky, funny, endearing, and odd-ball that I’m hesitant to say is a distinct quality of many a japanese dramas. Not that japanese dramas are better, but it made sense to do drama adaptation of a manga suited to Japanese audiences.

      I’m not surprised Korea wants to do a remake since Nodame was so popular in Japan, but I’m gonna have to hunt some people down if they ruin one of my personal favorite jdramas.


  10. I love Nodame Cantabile and I do not want any remake as only Ueno Juri and Tamaki Hiroshi will be my Nodame and Chiaki. I will therefore skip any remake.

  11. Shim eun kyung might be good for nodame since she seems to like playing quirky roles and she has the acting chops to pull it off

  12. can we have either joo ji hoon or kim jae wook for chiaki, i felt that they will suit the part better
    and im joo eun or han hyo joo for nodame

    i know this will never happen but yonghwa always reminded me to chiaki, maybe because of that strong charisma he exudes whenever he’s with music and he has some visual resemblance to tamaki as well
    too bad his acting is not on par

    • I agree, also not feeling Joo Won for some reason in this role, though I love him to bits.

      Kim Jae-wook would be perfect, and Joo Ji-hoon’s not bad either. They’re both so much better at being cold and distant than JW, who always blows hot or warm, whether in anger or affection.

      IU is not bad, but now that you mention IJE, I totally want her to do this! She’s such a talented and underrated actress, and she was excellent in Wild Romance at being super weird and in her own universe, which is what we need for Nodame.

      But I can guarantee that no matter who is cast, this will never top the original. I just hope it’s not a disaster of epic proportions a la BOF.

      • Not feeling JW for this either, and definitely not IU (who, I agree, is not bad). But IU is too cute.

        Im Joo Eun I think would have the acting talent and right kind of vibe… but even if she got the role (which won’t happen, since they keep overlooking her), this drama is more than just casting. Too many other factors they would have to nail that I have no confidence they’ll do. It’s never going to be as whacky, they’ll probably take out or tone down all the sexual innuendos, and insert some love triangles that seriously threaten the OTP rather than bubble innocently but deliciously purely for comic effect.

  13. Just watched the first episode of Nodame Cantabile. Very quirky and works well w/ the Japanese culture. It’s going to be hard to translate it to the Korean culture (the Korean should take a good look at the America’s remake of BoF and see the cultural differences). Both the Japanese actor and actress did a very good job at their respective roles so it’s going to be difficult to top that. Good luck to the Korean productions. I hope they cast actor and actress w/ good acting chops (not just the image).

  14. Im not sure if it.s a good move. I dont normally like jdrama, but they did a very good job on nodame. It stays true to the manga, anime, and cast is superb. Not sure if kdrama can top that version.

  15. No please don’t remake Nodame the beautiful and brilliant japanese drama seriously the korean remake will make it heavier to watch.

  16. I want par bo young for this, but since she never do drama im not sure she will do this. I want par shin hye but she was busy fir movie. I kinda like IU though, she’s not limiting her acting so i can see her progressing, but im not sure she can match Jo Won quality. Who else? Korean really sort for talented young actress. I also like kang sora but i think shes on board for other drama

  17. I’ll be glad if Joo Won take this drama because he’s such a great actor but I just wish k-drama would not ruin another j-drama because they totally ruin Hana Kimi which is my favorite j-drama, so I’m praying that they will not ruin the drama >_<

  18. There’s no denying Joo Won is a good actor, but man I just can’t see him as Chiaki. I can’t even explain why. He’s too warm? I know he can do angry, but that’s not exactly Chiaki either. He’d do a good job, but it’s not a particularly interesting choice. IU is decent enough, but Nodame isn’t actually an easy character to play and and she’s also too cutesy imo. A more experienced actor would be better to play the character. Musical background doesn’t particularly matter, it is acting after all.

    I’m still 100% in the there is no need to remake this drama camp, so I can’t view anyone too positively.

  19. I really love IU.She the best for this role..IU’s already a talented musician and she can act well.I really excited to see iu and joo won together.I believes that they can do well.I supports iu forever.

  20. Joo Ji Hoon for Chiaki!

    And as for Nodame…well can’t think of another actress that can go head-to-head with Ueno Juri’s performance…and what about Stressman? I love that old man!

  21. Definitely not! Please dont do Nodame. As for the character of Chiaki, I dont think Jo Woon is it. Anyway this is a no brainer. Just dont do it!

  22. Joo Won sure have a lot of opportunities. He seem to be everywhere. He was decent at first in Good Doctor but after watching the entire drama, I realized that his acting is still not there yet. He’s just okay for me. I don’t dislike nor especially watch a drama for him.

    As for IU, I can’t really comment since I never watch any of her drama. But in terms of look, I don’t feel she is suitable but who knows…she may give off a fresher feel.

    I don’t think there’s a need for a remake. The original was just perfect.

  23. Nodame Cantabile is Nodame Cantabile. Its a one hell of Japanese manga live action drama. #NoRemake please… but even so… i prefer Joo Won and Lee Yeonhee!

  24. Oh god, no Joo Won please. He’s like the male version of PSH. Everywhere, but uber boring. One note expression like scrunching eyebrows is not good acting.

  25. I honestly haven’t seen the jdrama, so I’m pretty excited to see these two work together! 🙂 I’ve warmed up so much to IU’s acting (more than Suzy ..), so her playing this role would be awesome! ^^

    • OMG…that would be great! I can totally see her as Nodame!
      I loved Nodame Cantabile and the actors were awesome, so based on what I’ve seen from Joo Won, I think he would be great too!!

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